My mother's recipe for thenkuzhal came out smashingly well and it was crunchy and had the perfect texture. The Jangri was also fairly easy to make, much to our surprise (and thanks to Raks' detailed pictures), that my husband who was initially skeptic and was pushing for badusha instead, couldn't get enough of the jangri and finished the entire thing in 2 days after which he wanted us to make more.... but by then I was sick of seeing copious amounts of sugar and ghee that goes into the making of practically everything and decided to give a few months before our next indulgence.
This is the plain, salted version and if you want to spicy one please check out the recipe for Chaklis.
Rice Flour (I used store bought) - 2 cups
Urad dhal flour - 1/4 cup (procedure give below)
Cumin seeds - 1 to 2 tsp (based on preference)
Asafoetida powder (hing) - few pinches
Butter (unsalted) - 1 tbsp at room temperature (not melted)
Salt - to taste (I used about 3/4 to 1 tsp)
Water - sufficient amount to bind into a dough
Oil - enough to deep fry
1) Procedure for Urad Flour: Dry roast about 1/4 cup of whole, skinned (white), urad dhal in a pan until very light brown. Allow to cool and grind to a fine powder. Sieve this urad dhal flour and then measure out the required 1/4 cup flour for this recipe.
2) In a bowl combine the rice flour, urad dhal flour cumin seeds, salt, asafoetida. Then add the butter and mix well. Slowly add water and make into a soft dough. If it's too hard, then it'll be really hard to press out the thenkuzhal and if too soft/watery, it will absorb too much oil.
3) Heat oil in a wide pan, test with a small piece of the dough and if it sizzles and comes right back up then it's ready. Press out the thenkuzhal (you need special equipment for this) directly in the oil, if comfortable or onto a piece of foil or wrap before transferring them into the oil.
4) Fry until the bubbles around the murukku almost disappear but ensure that it doesn't become brown.. it should be an off white. Adjust the temperature of the oil accordingly. Drain on a paper towel and store in an air-tight container when it has cooled down.
JANGRI (south indian jilebis)
For the dough:
Whole white urad dhal - 1/2 cup, soaked for 2 hours
Orange food colouring - a pinch
Salt - a pinch
Oil - to deep fry
A Ziploc bag
For the Sugar Syrup:
Sugar -1/2 cup
Water - as required to immerse the sugar
Orange colouring - a few pinches
Rose essence - if desired
1) For the Sugar Syrup: Boil water and sugar for a few minutes until the syrup thickens a bit. Add the orange colour and rose essence and keep this kind of hot and ready for the jangris.
2) For the Jangris: Grind the urad dhal with very little water to a smooth and fluffy dough (I used a wet grinder for this and followed the exact same procedure as for vadais). Add a wee bit of salt and food colouring and mix well.
3) Now spoon this into a ziploc bag and push it all to one of the lower corners and snip of the tip (a small one will do). Heat oil in a wide, but shallow pan - one inch depth of oil is sufficient - on a low flame. Oil should not be smoking hot.
4) Now squeeze the top of the ziploc while making circular motions directly in the oil to form the jangris (I know it sounds complicated but isn't all that bad when you actually give it a go). Please check out raks website for detailed pictures. I practised making a small one on a plate before trying it out in oil.
5) Flip them over and allow to cook on both sides & remove from oil (using chopsticks is recommended so as not to bruise them) and drop them in the hot sugar syrup for about 2 minutes or so before removing them onto a plate.
I would recommend letting them sit for a while before eating because they tasted better with time.